It Happened One Wedding Page 50

He grabbed her dress off the corner of the television, where it had landed after he’d impatiently tossed it over his shoulder during round two. “Still, there’s an etiquette to these things, Sinclair. Try to respect that.” He held out her dress, then playfully moved it away when she reached for it. When she glared, he grinned and handed it over for real.

She looked around for her bra and spotted it on the nightstand, laying under his pistol.

“So who’s the guy?” he asked, folding his arms across his chest.

“What guy? Oh, right. Actually, he’s someone I went to high school with. He found me on Facebook, saw that I’d moved back to Chicago, and started e-mailing me,” she said.

Vaughn watched as she grabbed the strap of her bra and slowly, very cautiously, tried to slide it out without having to touch any part of his gun. He went over to the nightstand, picked up his gun and badge, and handed her the bra. “To answer your question, he’s not busy with work. He’s playing games.”

Letting her stew on that one, he headed out into the kitchen.

She came out of the bedroom a minute later, dress on and with her high heels dangling casually from one hand, her phone in the other hand. “You don’t know for sure that he’s playing games.”

Vaughn finished drinking the glass of water he’d poured himself. “Trust me, I know how guys think.” He poured a second glass of water for her. “When a guy e-mails or texts a bunch of times in a row and then goes radio silent for a few days, it’s a ploy to make you wonder whether he’s into you. Then, just when you’re starting to feel a little insecure about things, he makes contact, knowing that now you’ll be extra glad to hear from him.”

Sidney looked disgusted. “That’s so lame. And sneaky.” She looked at him, frowning. “Do you use these tricks?”

Please. “I don’t have to use tricks.” Starving from all the bedroom—and living room—activity, he pulled out a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of salsa.

“Ah, right. Because you’re the extra-Special Agent Vaughn Roberts.” She took a seat in the bar stool next to him.

He winked. “Special enough to get you naked. Twice.”

She considered this, while helping herself to a chip. “All right, tell me more.”

“More what?”

“About how single men think. How to spot the good guys from the players.”

Vaughn scoffed. “I’m not giving you tips on dating other guys.”

“Why not?”

“Because we just slept together. It’s . . . weird.”

She reached out and touched his hand, smiling ever-so-sweetly. “Aw, baby, don’t be like that. We’re friends, right?” Her eyes danced mischievously. “Isn’t that what you guys always say?”

Probably he’d best take the Fifth Amendment on that one. So he answered instead with a question of his own. “Don’t you think you’re being a little intense about all this dating stuff? I thought all you happily-ever-after types believe that when the time is right, Fate will send ‘the one’ your way.”

“Well, Fate needs to get a move on,” she said, dipping another chip into the jar of salsa. “I’m up against the clock here.”

“Please don’t start telling me about how your eggs have an expiration date.” He pointed to her abdomen. “I don’t need to be thinking about how there are fertile eggs in there right after we had sex.”

“You used condoms and I’m on the pill. You might be studly, Roberts, but even your guys can’t make it past all that. Besides, I wasn’t talking about my biological clock, I meant that I’m up against the clock with this wedding here. I promised myself I’d have a date by then.” She pointed with her tortilla chip. “So come on. Give me the straight skinny on the single, urban, thirtysomething man. How do I know if a guy’s in it for the sex?”

“That’s easy—all guys are in it for the sex. The real question is whether he’s open to something on top of the sex.”

“And that’s where my checklist comes in.” She took a bite of her chip, looking quite confident in this.

“I hate to break it to you, but any guy trying to play you will know how to get around that checklist. Players know all the right things to say. They’ll send you sweet text messages wishing you good-night or saying they just want to see how your day went—because they know those kinds of things make women think they’re good guys.”

“Wait—pause right there.” Sidney grabbed her phone and began typing.

Vaughn stared at her. “Are you taking notes?”

“Hell, yes. This is good stuff.” She read out loud as she typed. “‘No texts good-night.’ Got it.” She looked up. “What else?”

“Seriously, Sinclair. I was just inside you ten minutes ago.”

She reached out and touched his hand, her smile sweet once again. “Aw, baby. And you know how special that was to me.”

Yep. Reveled in busting his balls.


EARLY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, Sidney paced in her office, using a Bluetooth headset so she could stretch her legs. For over an hour, she’d been on a call with Gabe Ramos, the headhunter she’d brought in to help find a new CEO for Vitamin Boutique—someone who would be aggressive about growth without sacrificing profits and earnings.

She turned to the final candidate on the list of three executives she’d forwarded earlier to Gabe for discussion. “What about Karen Wetzel?” she asked. Wetzel was the executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of Toys “R” Us, and, according to Gabe’s intel, was looking to spread her wings beyond a VP position.

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